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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Instant gratification (maybe)


Steve Flashman's book "Marketing for Construction" is launching Sept. 5. I'm skeptical of orchestrated marketing messages, but agree 100 per cent with the principals he is advocating in his website's "about" box. So maybe this e-book (and other resources) may represent good value.

I sometimes enjoy reading the marketing messages for contractor resources that arrive in my e-box. With well-written copy, they tease, entice, and look, well, like most of the other direct response Internet marketing pieces I've seen before, over and over. They are following the formula for online marketing, they think.

These techniques undoubtedly work, but I wonder how well, really, in the long run. Many times, the material is all tease and no substance -- and you just feel the "you must order this" is around the corner, before you receive any useful information.

But there are exceptions, and these may represent the best in direct marketing techniques, giving ou resources you may wish to emulate for your own business.

Here's an example from Steve Flashman, in the U.K., who started off with a sequential auto generated brief marketing course. The content, I found to be useful and relevant but quite basic. Maybe I "know" too much. So my initial reaction on reading this email which arrived yesterday, was, "oh no, here is the selling message, time to delete."
Dear Mark,

It's really hard to come by good Marketing Consultants that specialise in construction.

You have to be able to get your hands dirty - get on the phone, talk to people, build relationships, know your target market, understand lead generation, know how to get through to the "decision makers"...

You may say,"I'm not worried about the current economic downturn because my business is not affected." But you surely believe in discovering new tried and tested ways to grow your business from a specialist marketer with experience in the
industry, don't you?

You don't need to spend mega-bucks marketing your business - but if you do nothing, sooner or later you'll be walking down a dead end street.

I'd really encourage you to take a look at my 50,000 word eBook, Marketing For Construction. It could save you a truck load of money!

Launch date: September 5th 2008

Best regards

Steve Flashman
Hmm, enticing, perhaps, but what is the catch? Who is Steve Flashman? And why should anyone rush to give him money?

Well, my original skepticism is modified by these words on his website in the "About Us" box:

On The Box Marketing was launched in 2008 in response to growing demands for a no nonsense approach to marketing, particularly in the construction industry. We believe that the most successful marketing is built on successful relationships, developing networks and establishing partnerships, joint ventures and framework agreements that bring mutual benefit to all parties involved. Gone are the days when slick marketing "speak" won the contract! We have built our marketing expertise around this basic principle and can show you how to build effective relationships that will open new opportunities and lucrative business deals that will bring growth, integrity and kudos to your business development.

Now that is a selling message that comes close to my heart. So maybe Steve is for real. I'll keep my mind open. And I'm sure he won't mind the link and reference to his website here (though if he does, I'll remove it -- copyright recognition is important around here.)

P.S. I'm also setting a permalink for his Marketing for Construction blog -- not many entries, but useful content, nonetheless, and of course obviously relevant to the theme here.

1 comment:

Mark Buckshon said...

Steve Flashment sent me the following email:

Dear Mark,

I checked out your blog - looks like an honest appraisal to me. I've just got back from vacation myself, hence the delay in responding.

It might be helpful if I gave you some background info:

I am a New Business Development Manager and Marketing Consultant for a Construction Company in London (UK)and have worked full time with them for a few years now. So I've been at the cutting edge of marketing for construction for sometime. Although we are a medium size company our turnover has risen from £9.8million (UK) to £25million in 5 years and I'm currently generating £50million worth of tenders a year. I am not into margeting jargon, cliches or big promises that don't deliver - our business has been built by building relationships.

However, I do wear another hat! I have a background in media (radio and TV presenting, writing and recording etc)- but my passion is working with a charity which undertakes building projects in developing countries. We take volunteers on short term projects to build feeding centers, clinics, schools etc working with street kids and under-privileged people groups in some of the poorest locations on earth.

(I founded a charity back in the 90's called Soapbox Expeditions - we took 300 people of all ages every year to 19 developing countries to do practical aid work - it was brilliant! I moved on from Soapbox in 2001)

In October I will be cutting down my work with Hilife Construction to 2 days a week and I am launching my own consultancy business based on my experience in construction and media over many years. That's why I'm launching my eBook on Friday this week "Marketing For Construction", plus a Membership Site and a Full Training Course next month. I'm also running teleconferences, CPD Seminars and MP3 audio interviews with experts in the industry. The money raised from my consultancy work will enable me to spend more time developing the charity work.

My marketing site: http://www.ontheboxmarketing.com
My new charity site: http://www.ontheboxmission.com

I now have many key contacts in the construction industry and my aim is to support business development in construction through these new initiatives.

I would appreciate any help or advice you can give - would you be prepared to do an interview with me at one of my teleconferences?

Best regards

Steve